Posted: Fri 2nd Jul 2021

Glyndwr University wins multi-million pound funding to run new health courses in first for north Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jul 2nd, 2021

Wrexham Glyndwr University is celebrating the prospective contract win of multi-million pound funding to launch an exciting raft of new Nursing and Allied Health Professions courses.

The successful tender for funding from Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) will lead to a new tripartite working arrangement with HEIW and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), that will be based on pre-existing partnership working.

This commissioning contract enables the university to substantially increase its portfolio of Nursing and Allied Health Professional programmes offer, with new courses ranging from Mental Health Nursing to Speech and Language Therapy.

As well as a significant increase in student numbers, a host of new jobs are being created at the university as a result of the successful bid, with new roles ranging from lecturers to administrative staff, with a recruitment drive imminent.

It is another first for Wrexham, as some of these Allied Health Practitioner Degree courses have never been delivered in North Wales before.

The portfolio area also includes the university’s British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRaT) accredited Sports Injury Rehabilitation programme.

The successful funding bid means Glyndwr University will now be in a position to offer courses in;

  • Adult Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Children’s Nursing
  • Paramedic Science
  • Operating Department Practice
  • Dietetics
  • Speech and Language Therapy (English)
  • Speech and Language Therapy (Welsh)

The University will also be able to continue with its Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy courses.

The funding has been made available by HEIW to change the ‘shape’ of education provision in Wales to closely meet the needs of all Health Boards and Trusts, and develop a cutting edge innovative contract to put Wales at the forefront of Health Professional education.

The boost for the university will enable Wrexham Glyndwr to work closely with HEIW, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Powys Teaching Health Board, the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) and other stakeholders, building on already strong partnerships to ensure the curriculum closely matches service needs.

Welcoming the announcement, Wrexham Glyndwr University Vice-Chancellor Maria Hinfelaar said: “This announcement is a huge boost to the University and the region.

“I want to say thank you to our team and everyone who was involved in making the bid a successful one.”

Dr Simon Stewart, Faculty Dean of Social and Life Sciences at Glyndwr said: “This is a landmark day for the university and the faculty.

“This is a huge boost, not only for everyone at Wrexham Glyndwr, but North Wales as a whole – as we are now able to offer a wider range of Allied Health practitioner courses than has ever been available in the region before.

“Potential students from the North Wales area who would have previously had to relocate to take these courses will now be able to stay to learn and study here.

“I would like to express my thanks to HEIW for the funding, and everyone who worked hard throughout the bid process.”

Madi Ruby, Associate Dean responsible for Nursing and Allied Health Professions added: “We are absolutely delighted to learn that our bid has been successful and that we can now substantially broaden our Nursing and Allied Health Professions offering as a result.

“In the short-term it is fantastic for us that the faculty is expanding, and in the long-term it is incredible to know we’ll be providing opportunities for people to become Nursing and Allied Health professionals of the future – that we will be developing the practitioners of tomorrow.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been instrumental in making this ambition a reality.”

Jo Whitehead, Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Wrexham Glyndwr University and other health boards and trusts to help provide high-quality health education and training opportunities in Wales.

“The courses will help us recruit in the future within these areas of healthcare and meet the needs of our patients.”

A spokesman for HEIW said: “We are very pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the all Wales pre-registration healthcare professions education tender. This is the largest commissioning process we undertake and is worth over £1bn in the next 10 years.

“We are looking forward to working with partners over the next 12 months on the implementation phase of the contracts and thereafter on the delivery of high-quality pre-registration healthcare professional education in Wales.”

The expansion of health courses has been welcomed by Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales MS, who said: “I’m delighted by this significant expansion in training for our health services – it’s something I’ve pushed for since 2017 and Glyndwr University deserve praise for their pioneering work in developing these courses. In the past they have only been available in the South so this is a significant development.

“I hope that, in time, it will help our local health board and NHS services recruit new staff. Along with the proposal for a new medical school in Bangor, another long-standing commitment by Plaid Cymru, I believe this will enable more health professionals to train locally and that means they’re more likely to stay in the region.

“There is growing interest in nursing and we desperately need more trained professionals to meet growing local demand for NHS services.”

The first intake of students for these courses will be welcomed next year, with space available on Foundation Nursing programmes from September 2021 and their delivery is a future step in the university’s Campus 2025 strategy, with designs being drawn up for a new Health and Innovation Quarter.

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